Kathleen Parker

Sex, sports, sabotage. You want a scandal, have we got a scandal for you.

We've got one with a capital "S" at the White House, involving a possible leak, an investigation, the FBI and the CIA. Throw in a navy Gap dress and we'll be ducky through next spring.

If you're unfamiliar with the story, you probably should skip to the comics, but here's the short version.

Several months ago, syndicated columnist Robert Novak named a CIA undercover agent in a column about Niger's alleged sale of "yellowcake" to Iraq. He said he got the agent's name from two senior administration officials.

But by naming the woman, Novak delivered a weapon of mass destruction to Democrats, who are deliriously dusting off a law prohibiting the naming of covert agents.

Lethal, malicious leak or casual name-drop? Dum-de-dum-dum.

Over at the National Enquirer, Rush Limbaugh is alleged to have been popping prescription pain pills procured through his former maid. Exactly so, Watson, the maid hid them under the mattress in the master bedroom.

That headline stepped on the heels of Limbaugh's sudden resignation as an ESPN commentator for daring to suggest that race might be a factor in the media's treatment of certain sports figures. Ah-ha, a pill-popper and a racist.

So gleefully, I mean dolefully, received was this news that Democratic presidential candidates Howard Dean and retired Gen. Wesley Clark felt compelled to write ESPN letters urging Limbaugh's removal.

What was Limbaugh's effrontery? He commented that Philadelphia Eagles star Donovan McNabb was getting an easy ride because the media want a black quarterback to do well. "He got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve," said Limbaugh.

I have no idea whether that statement is true, but it doesn't seem racist. It seems to me - admittedly without benefit of an agenda - that Limbaugh was questioning the media's attitude toward race in its sports coverage, which of course is a horse of a diff - oh, never mind.

Regardless, it's an opinion from a guy who opines for a living. One may disagree, but surely ESPN didn't hire Limbaugh for his well-known sensitive commentary. If sensitivity is required of people in the opinion business, we may as well fold America's oped pages and shut down the blogosphere.

Finally, the Los Angeles Times has come out with a litany of sexual complaints against Arnold Schwarzenegger just in time to undermine his thus-far (and inexplicably) successful campaign to "give the state of California back to the people."

Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker is a syndicated columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group.
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